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Chapter 1. Introduction > About Modeling

1.1. About Modeling

Although we sometimes think of modeling as nothing more than a tool for drawing documentation pictures or for use within the Unified Modeling Language (UML) (in the case of big “M” modeling), or as purely an academic pursuit, we can apply modeling to virtually any domain and can use model-driven approaches to increase productivity and quality, particularly when using them in a domain-specific manner. This book does not focus on the general topic of models, modeling, metamodels, meta-metamodels, super-models, model-driven software development, and so on; instead, it focuses on these topics as they relate to using the Eclipse Modeling Project as a DSL Toolkit. In other words, this book focuses on the practical application of MDSD with what is available today in the Modeling project. You can find other sources of information on the topics of modeling, DSLs, and MDSD; I suggest several later in Part III, “References.”

As David Frankel pointed out in Model Driven Architecture: Applying MDA to Enterprise Computing [45], a critical aspect of the success of MDSD is using a common metamodel. In our case, Eclipse Modeling Framework’s (EMFs) Ecore is this metamodel (or meta-metamodel, depending on your perspective). Beginning with Ecore (and leveraging the facilities of EMF for defining, editing, querying, and validating models), I describe how a Toolsmith can begin to develop a DSL. Using several of the other Modeling projects, you will add diagramming, transformation, and generation capabilities to a DSL, resulting in a full-featured toolset that a Practitioner can use. Throughout the book, I use the roles Toolsmith and Practitioner to distinguish between those who develop DSL tools using the Modeling project and those who use these tools in practice.


  

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